Monday, December 19, 2011

Hasad- Evil Eye and Envy

by Yahya Adel Ibrahîm

On the authority of Abu Huraira (ra) who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said

“Do not be envious of one another; do not artificially raise prices against one another; do not hate one another; do not turn one’s back on each other; and do not undercut one another in business transactions. And be, [O] servants of Allah, brethren. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He does not wrong him. He does not fail him [when he needs him]. He does not lie to him. And he does not show contempt for him. Piety is here”

- and he pointed to his chest three times.

“It is enough of evil for a person to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All of a Muslim is inviolable to another Muslim: his blood, his wealth and his honor.”

Recorded by Muslim.

...If the Muslims were to apply the sublime teachings of this hadith, there would be a great change and improvement in their interrelationships and love for one another.

This disease of the heart and the sin which is known as hasad was one of the first sins ever committed. It was one of the main things that drove Satan away from his Lord. In fact, two aspects drove Satan to the horrendous situation that he is in today: pride and envy....[See al-Baqara 109].

According to ibn Taimiya, hasad is always accompanied by hatred. This is one of the evils of hasad. First the person is envious of the other person. After some time, this envy develops into hatred. [Ibn Taimiya, Majmu vol. 10, p. 127. Also see al-Duhami, Al-Hath ala Salamah al-Sadr (Riyadh: Dar al-Watn, 1416 A.H.), pp. 38-39.]

Hasad is a kind of opposition or discontent with what Allah has decreed...he is putting his religion into a dangerous and precarious position. He is practically declaring himself a better decision maker than Allah. [Ibn Uthaymin, Sharh Riyadh, vol. 4, p. 704.]

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,

“Iman and hasad do not gather together in the heart of a slave [of Allah].”

[Recorded by al-Nasai. According to al-Albani, it is sahih. See al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1262.]

According to ibn Uthaymin, one of the strong signs that a person is inflicted with the disease of hasad is that he always tries to conceal the virtues and goodness of others. He does not like it when others talk about the good that a person has done. He remains silent and pretends like he does not know of the good that the other one has done. A true believer who is free of hasad likes it when good things are said about others and when the good deeds of others are appreciated and spoken about...He has no envy in his heart for what Allah has bestowed upon the others and, therefore, he spreads that good news to others. [Ibn Uthaymin, Sharh Riyadh, vol. 4, p. 707.] This sign that ibn Uthaymin has explicitly mentioned should be considered a type of subtle sign that people may not notice in themselves. They must take note of this sign and repel it as quickly as possible as it is a stepping stone to the greater forms of hasad.
With respect to that feeling of hasad, people can be divided into the following categories:

  1. There are some people who actively work to remove that bounty from the other person, without necessarily destroying the bounty itself. By their speech and their actions they will wrongly do whatever they can to bring an end to the other person’s blessing from Allah.
  2. There are others who do not just seek to remove that bounty from the other person, but they also work to get the bounty for themselves.
  3. The worst are those who simply wish to destroy the bounty, regardless of whether they themselves get it or if it is simply destroyed. They only want to destroy that blessing because it was not given to them in the first place.
  4. There are those who cannot remove the feeling of envy from their souls.They cannot control it but they do not like it and wish they could remove it. Those people, Allah willing, are not sinful for their state that they cannot control. According to ibn al-Qayyim, the evil of hasad comes about when the person acts upon his hasad, even if just in his heart. This is why Allah guides the Muslims not to simply seek refuge of the envious one, but to seek refuge of the envious one when he is being envious. Allah says, “From the evil of the envious one when he envies” (al-Falaq 5).[Quoted in al-Salihi, vol. 6, p. 529.]
  5. There are also those who, although they do not act upon their hasad, willingly have thoughts of envy, are pleased with them and continue to think in such a manner while putting up no resistance to such evil thoughts as removing blessings from one’s brother. This person is like a person who is dead set upon committing a sin. There is a difference of opinion among the scholars concerning whether this kind of person is a sinner or not. Al-Haitami says that such a person is definitely a sinner. [Al-Haitami, Fath, p. 249.] Ibn Rajab, furthermore, points out that such a person is rarely safe from doing some wrong act against his brother out of spite and envy. Therefore, in the end, he may definitely become sinful in action, without question. [Ibn Rajab, Jami, vol. 2, p. 262.]
  6. Another group of people recognize the hasad that exists within them. They do their best to remove that hasad from themselves and to treat the one they are envious of in the best possible fashion. They pray for the person; they tell others of his goodness and of the bounties that Allah has bestowed upon him. They remove that hasad to the extent that they love their Muslim brother and they love that Allah has blessed him and bestowed him and bestowed His bounties upon him. This category of people are among the people of the highest level of faith, they love for their brothers what they love for themselves. [Ibn Rajab, Jami, vol. 2, p. 263.]

  1. Hadith on Hasad from al-Bukhari
  2. Volume 4, Book 55, Number 590:
    Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:The Prophet used to seek Refuge with Allah for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and say: "Your forefather (i.e. Abraham) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Ishmael and Isaac by reciting the following: 'O Allah! I seek Refuge with Your Perfect Words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.' "

    Narrated 'Aisha:

    The Prophet ordered me or somebody else to do Ruqya (if there was danger) from an evil eye.